MLB’s executive VP of baseball operations Joe Torre acknowledged umpire Dane DeMuth’s mistake in awarding Billy Butler a home run in Kansas City last night, but because the Yankees declined to file a protest, the matter is over with.
DeMuth got the Kauffman Stadium ground rules wrong in giving Butler a homer in the Yankees’ 5-4 win over the Yankees on Wednesday.
“There really was a misunderstanding about what the ground rule represented,” Torre said. “The cushion and the little screen and railing are in the ballpark. I talked to Dana DeMuth, and obviously last night from what went on, he was very sure that that ball was a home run because it hit that back fence, which he thought was out of the park.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn’t protest the game after the incident. He said he believed DeMuth’s interpretation that it was a homer.
DeMuth has yet to comment, but Torre said he would be made available to the media on Friday.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.